Back in 2008, we enjoyed a superb trip to Napa and Sonoma in California, and one of the tasting rooms we visited was at Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon Estates Vineyard. Most people who enjoy wine know that Mr. Coppola has been in the wine making business for close to thirty years. Let’s face it, wine making takes money and very few people other than those who are extremely successful have the money to A.) buy a vineyard and/or B.) make wine. Even here in Texas, most of the new wine makers are Doctors – Neurologists – Radiologists, etc . . . Why? Because they have the capital assets to make the investment. Wine making is NOT for the faint of heart. The weather – rain, or lack of it, wind, sun, or too much of it, too cool, too hot – not enough days above this temperature or too many days below that temperature . . .the grapes weren’t harvested on time; they were harvested too early . . . we could go on and on. And we aren’t even in the business. The bottom line is that it IS a business and it takes MONEY to make the business go.
We digress – – the tasting room at Mr. Coppola’s Rubicon Estates is in a word – AWESOME. A two-story building right out of – you guessed it, a Hollywood movie! In fact, it’s SO out of a Hollywood movie, that on the second floor of the building is a late 1940’s model Tucker automobile in mint condition. You movie buffs may recall a movie that Mr. Coppola made in the mid-1980’s starring Jeff Bridges as Tucker, The Man and His Machine. We’re pretty sure that of ALL the Tucker’s left in existence, Mr. Coppola owns the majority of them. The movie, while biographically significant, didn’t fare all that well at the box office. We’ve watched it a number of times and find it fascinating from a historical perspective. Imagine . . . the “Big 3” Automakers trying to put someone out of business? Anyway, this film is, in our opinion, Mr. Coppola’s nod to the passion of perfection. Our guess is that he has used this mantra in the wines that come from his vineyards.
Today, Mr. Coppola has a significant variety of wines . . . their basic entries are the “Coppola” labels; their mid-level wines are the “Director’s Cut” and their premium wines are the ‘Rubicon Estates’. When we enjoyed their tasting room, we sampled the mid-level and premium wines which is what led us to this evening’s sampling. Tonight we enjoyed a 2009 Director’s Cut Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. This is a beautiful wine – which is available at H-E-B for less than $17 a bottle. If you like a good Zinfandel or you’ve NEVER tried a Zinfandel, this may be your wine of choice. The nose on this one is so subtle–the pepper and spice; the cranberry and currants; the cinnamon and nutmeg – – WOW, what a combination! The taste was every bit as delicious as the nose was enticing. An amazing taste of fruit with a hint of oak–a smooth taste that we paired with roasted potatoes and grilled pork tenderloin. You won’t have to go to Hollywood for this wine or even audition to buy it.
One of our all-time favorite movies – directed by Mr. Coppola – is The Godfather. It’s a cinema classic that has stood the test of time. Tonight’s sampling of the 2009 Director’s Cut Zinfandel is a classic that has the potential to withstand the test of time. It’s delicious, affordable and ready for enjoying right now.
Please remember that whether you enjoy this wine or any others, enjoy them responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.